United States Considers Sending Bigger Bombs to Ukraine As Counter-Offensive Stalls

AP Photo
June 30, 2023

U.S. officials are growing closer to sending cluster bombs to Ukrainian defense forces to be used against the invading Russians.

Cluster bombs are explosive munitions that also deploy smaller explosives after being fired. Officials are reportedly closer to approving the transfer of the munitions now than they have been at any other point during the war. The move toward providing Ukraine with more advanced weapons comes as the nation’s counter-offensive into Russia has stalled.

Republican lawmakers have come out in support of supplying Ukraine with the bombs. Rep. Michael McCaul (R., Texas) has stated that the munitions could be effective at destroying the fortified Russian positions that have been proving troublesome for Ukraine. Congressional Democrats fall on the other side of the issue. Per a letter obtained by Politico, more than a dozen Senate Democrats have called on President Joe Biden to block any transfer of cluster munitions to Ukraine. The Democrats argue that the potential humanitarian costs of using such bombs outweigh the strategic utility they provide.

Sixty-five percent of Americans support shipping arms to Ukraine, per a recent Reuters poll, up from the 46 percent recorded in a poll conducted in May. The same poll found that Americans are also more likely to support a political candidate who is in favor of sending military aid to Ukraine.

If received, Ukraine would likely be able to rapidly deploy the munitions. The United States has sent Ukraine High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems and 155mm Howitzers, which can be used to launch cluster bombs.